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TOPIC: DON'T MEMORIZE ITTO's - My PMP Lessons Learned

DON'T MEMORIZE ITTO's - My PMP Lessons Learned 5 years 3 months ago #2421

  • Adam Leslie
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There are several hundred Inputs, Tools, Techniques and Outputs described in the PMBOK Guide and understanding them is key to passing the PMP Exam. Read this article here for the how, what and why of all these ITTOs: The Complete Guide to PMP ITTO.
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I passed my PMP exam on August 19th. I did so after a lot of study (4 hours a day for 2.5 months). I am going to break down my lessons learned into two parts: "What I Did Do" and "What I Did Not Do".

What I Did Do
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1. Created a study plan with projected a test date.
2. Studied Rita's book (www.amazon.com/PMP-Exam-Prep-Sixth-Passing/dp/1932735186) cover to cover. Notice I did not say I read it - I studied it. I poured over it. I took notes, highlighted key areas and did further research on concepts that I did not understand.
3. Memorized Rita's process chart and the formula page in the back of the book. I reviewed these almost every night before I went to bed.
4. Talked about Rita's material with my spouse, friends and co-workers. I tried to be the teacher, not the student.
5. Found this material (www.headfirstlabs.com/PMP/criticalpath/) to help with learning CPM.
5. Studied the PM Prepcast (www.project-management-prepcast.com/). Again, I just didn't listen. I took notes, crossed referenced with Rita and researched concepts. In my opinion, Rita and Cornelius approach the PMBOK very differently - which is utterly fantastic. Rita may spend a paragraph on a particular concept, but Cornelius will spend 20 minutes - and vice versa.
6. Created a spreadsheet containing all the ITTO's. This was invaluable. It helped me easily and quickly see relationships and inter-dependencies between all the process groups and knowledge areas. For example, you can easily do a find on "Variance Analysis" and see where this T&T is used to control the triple constraints ...
7. Set my test date into stone (i.e. I signed up), but I joined PMI as a member first to save a few dollars.
8. Practiced using the PMP Exam Simulator (pm-exam-simulator.com). This was worth every dollar I spent on it. The practice exams were just as hard (if not harder) than my actual PMP exam. I took 5 full-blown exams plus a bunch of smaller quizzes. It helps with learning how to manage your test taking time, gives you realistic sample test questions and truly trains you to be ready for the exam. DON'T SKIP ON THIS STEP AND USE FREE/CHEAP QUESTIONS. Trust me, PMI does not skip on the question quality of their exam.
9. Reconnoitered my test site the day before. It made test day a bit less stressful.

What I Did Not Do
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1. Read the PMBOK cover to cover. I did use it for reference, and read large sections. But I never sat down to read it like a novel.
2. Take a sample test, get a score and "be done with it". When I finished a test, I tore into each and every question I missed. I looked for why I failed at understanding the process/knowledge area/ITTO, not just the specific question itself.
3. Memorize the ITTO's. Don't waste your time. You need to understand how they work, how they interrelate and how they depend on each other. If you don't take the time to understand how the ITTO's work as a holistic machine, you will find the exam very difficult.
4. Do a brain dump before I started the exam. Okay, I actually did do a brain dump, but it was totally useless and a waste of pencil graphite. Either you know the material, or you don't.
5. Click "End" when I was done with the exam. I had almost 2 hours left, so I reviewed my marked questions, then all the mathematics questions and then finally all remaining questions. I changed 11 answers, and found 3 blatant errors on my part.

I passed the exam on my first try. I received 3 "Proficient" and 3 "Moderately Proficient" for my score. Your results may vary, but I will say this: take practice exams from (pm-exam-simulator.com)!!! I am not shilling for Cornelius. This was the biggest key in my being ready for the PMP exam. Learn the material, and then learn how to take the exam.

Good Luck!
Regards,

Adam
Last Edit: 1 year 4 months ago by Cornelius Fichtner.

Re:Passed My PMP On August 19th 5 years 3 months ago #2424

  • S GABR CAMEL FOR TOURISM
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Congratulation , and thanks for helpfull feedback ,, Let Me ask you what about your next Target ?

Mohamed H. ELMahdy,CISA,ITIL
IT Manager
Sharm Elshekh Egypt

Re:Passed My PMP On August 19th 5 years 3 months ago #2427

  • Adam Leslie
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I am really fascinated with Lean and TPS. My next "target", if you will, is to research and read more about how I can incorporate these concepts into my own personal project management skill-set.

Cheers!
Regards,

Adam

DON'T MEMORIZE ITTO's - My PMP Lessons Learned 3 years 1 month ago #3824

  • Scott Creed
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Congratulations Adam.

I have been studying the 4th Edition to learn fundamentals. I will register for January boot camp and test. Will get 5th edition materials then. I have considered doing a spreadsheet of ITTO's to study myself. But I have the 4th Edition and understand that some processes have been moved and 5 new ones added. Are you willing to share yours?

I've watched TutorAli youtube videos. He has a great spreadsheet that I was going to try to mimic but again need to get 5th Edition materials.

-Scott

DON'T MEMORIZE ITTO's - My PMP Lessons Learned 3 years 1 month ago #3828

  • Trish
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Thanks so much for this great advice. Excellent suggestions! Good idea to scope out location prior to test.

DON'T MEMORIZE ITTO's - My PMP Lessons Learned 2 months 2 weeks ago #8415

  • Kelly G Coughlin
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Fantastic feedback, thanks so much for writing this, I have the same tools and hope to pass Dec. 22, 2016 !!! Congratulations to you for such hard work & determination !!!!

ITTO Spreadsheet v5 2 months 2 weeks ago #8430

  • Kelly G Coughlin
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